Individuals who drink to regulate affective states – especially drinking to cope (DTC) with negative affect – have been identified as those at most risk of experiencing negative alcohol related consequences and developing Alcohol Use Disorders (AUD). One risk factor thought to predispose individuals to poor emotion regulation, and in turn, greater use of alcohol to regulate affective states is exposure to early life stressors (ELS). The current study examined the association between multiple type of ELS and changes in affect-regulation drinking motives (i.e., DTC with negative affect and drinking to enhance positive affect) during the critical transition period spanning college to post-college life approximately 5 years later. The final sample of 909 (54% women) individuals completed Internet-based surveys including measures of demographics, ELS, and drinking motives, at both timepoints. Results indicated that individuals who had higher overall levels of stressful family environments (a composite of emotional and physical abuse, neglect, and domestic violence) showed higher levels of post-college DTC motivation controlling for levels in college. Higher levels of emotional abuse were also related to post-college enhancement motivation controlling for levels in college. No other ELS variables predicted changes in motives and no evidence was found for gender. Findings are discussed in terms of how overall levels of family-related ELS might confer risk for coping-related drinking through deficient emotion-regulation processes.
|Commitee:||Eisen, Andrew, Lachenmeyer, Juliana, McGrath, Robert|
|School:||Fairleigh Dickinson University|
|School Location:||United States -- New Jersey|
|Source:||DAI-B 82/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Early life stress, Drinking motivation, Drinking to cope|
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